Just What The Doc Ordered

New look lions ready to roar

What a difference a close-season can make! Just three months ago John Docherty was jeered off the pitch after Millwall had earned the point they needed to avoid the relegation play-offs.

For Docherty and his battling young Lions it was a case of 'mission accomplished' - for the success starved Den fans that instantly forgettable 1-1 draw with Sunderland seemed to sum up their whole season.

By Rob Bowden

But the supporters who vented their frustrations on Docherty last season might have changed their tune if they'd had an inkling of the transformation that was about to take place.

Alarmed by rapidly dwindling gates and mounting debts, Millwall chairman Reg Burr, and his boardroom colleagues decided to launch a courageous, all-out assault on the First Division.

Docherty, quietly satisfied at the way his young inexperienced side had preserved their Second Division status, was given the go ahead for the biggest close-season shopping expedition in Millwall’s history.

First he splashed out £80,000 on Portsmouth midfield ace Kevin O'Callaghan, then he snapped up Reading Steve Wood, despite the fact that the two clubs were miles apart when it came to agreeing a fee.

By the time one of the league's independent tribunals had ordered Millwall to pay £85,000 for Wood, Docherty had already spent another £200,000 on highly rated Gillingham striker Tony Cascarino.

And when Millwall took their summer spending past the £1/2 mark by signing George Lawrence from Southampton for £160,000 even the Doc's harshest critics (and there were of them last season), were forced eat their words.

Frank McLintock was so impressed he took the vacant assistant manager's job, and the transformation was complete.

The gloom and doom that accompanied the end of the 1986-87 campaign was suddenly replaced by a wave of optimism and an upsurge in season-ticket sales.

"Last season we had one of the best defensive records in the Second Division", said Docherty, "the problem was that we never rally looked like scoring enough goals at the other end."

"The players I have signed should help increase our fire power and now it's just a question of getting the blend right." 

It all adds up to a courageous gamble by the Millwall directors, a gamble which they know could backfire disastrously if Docherty's new look side fail to produce the goods and attract back the missing thousands.

Docherty himself, has been in the game too long to make any rash predictions about his side's chances of attracting back the fans and featuring in the Second Division promotion race.

But if Millwall can steer clear of too many injuries there's every chance that by next may those jeers will have turned to promotion cheers, and the Lions 102 year wait for First Division will be over.

 

Go for it

By Peter Coldwell

MILLWALL start their most important season for years on Saturday when they head north to play Middlesbrough in the Second Division at Ayresome Park. And everyone who cares about the game in SE London will wish them well.

For the first time in years Millwall have made real efforts to make progress, both on and off the pitch. Chairman Reg Burr and his fellow directors have found £500,000 for manager John Docherty to spend on quality players George Lawrence, Tony Cascarino, Kevin O'Callaghan and Steve Wood

And the £280,000 deal over four years with Lewisham Council could help promote a genuine sense of community in the Deptford and New Cross areas.

All of which would-be so much sweeter if Millwall find success on the pitch. Indeed, a good start to the season would be the impetus to greater things on all fronts.

Pressure will be on fans to turn up in numbers. None can complain that nothing has been done. If Millwall do well at Middlesbrough and get less than 6,000 for Reading's visit on Tuesday night, the directors will be right to wring their hands.

Chairman Burr, whose own pocket has been scorched by the summer transfer deals, will be like a boy again when he travels north tomorrow (Friday).

"We're all pretty excited about it", said Burr on Tuesday. "I think we should do well in the division. We should be, there or thereabouts."

"We may make a slower start than anticipated because of the difficulty of arranging public practices. But we've got every reason to be hopeful".

"There appears to have been a fair degree of interest from fans. Season tickets are well up and membership of the vice-presidents' club has had to be closed. But we need to see a lot more people for the Barnsley match (on Saturday week) and at the following home games.

"We don't mind paying out for capital assets, but it makes no sense to pay the wages and other expenses every fortnight if people are not turning up in greater numbers."

Injury

George Lawrence, signed from Southampton for £160,000, was a little apprehensive about the reception he might get from fans. But he could become as popular as John Fashanu with his raids from the wing.

Kevin O'Callaghan looks to be the one injury doubt for Saturday as boss Docherty contemplates his first team-sheet for a key campaign.

A special train is going to Middlesbrough on Saturday, although times and prices were unavailable as we went to press.

Members of the Lions' supporters club can get train tickets at the Den and a limited number for non-members will be available at Kings Cross station.

 

 

Millwall v Middlesbrough

MILLWALL invested more than £500,000 during the summer and with Frank McLintock now helping manager John Docherty with the coaching they will be strongly fancied promotion.

Tony Cascarino and George Lawrence will provide a powerful striking force, but the Lions face a formidable welcome Arysome Park.

Middlesbrough had the best defensive record in home matches in the Third Division last season an traditionally provide a hostile reception.

Verdict: Little joy here for Millwall

 

 

MILLWALL will kickoff their 1987-88 Littlewoods Cup campaign with a trip to fourth Division Leyton Orient.

The Lions, who were included in the first round draw after finishing in the bottom eight of the Second Division last season, travel across London to Brisbrane Road on August 18, with the return leg at the Den a week later.

John Docherty's new look side will be hoping to improve on last season's disappointing cup showings which saw Millwall lose to Norwich in the third round of the Littlewoods competition plus a humiliating third round FA Cup defeat by Fourth Division Cardiff.

 

 

 

New Boys: Frankie & Johnny show off their new signings: (left to right) Steve Wood (Position: Central Defender, Age: 24, Birthplace: Bracknell, Fee £85,000 from Reading.) Wesley Reid (Position: Midfielder, Age: 19, Birthplace: London, Fee: Free Transfer from Arsenal.) George Lawrence (Position: Winger, Age: 24, Birthplace: London, Fee: £160,000 from Southampton.) Tony Cascarino (Position: Striker, Age 24, Birthplace: St Pauls Cray, Fee: £200,000 from Gillingham.) Kevin O'Callaghan (Position: Winger, Age: 25, Birthplace: London, Fee: £80,000 from Portsmouth.)

 

Goals Galore

Cascarino aims to carry on scoring

By Rob Bowden

Goal hungry striker Tony Cascarino didn't need to think twice when John Docherty offered him the chance to spearhead Millwall's Second Division promotion push.

The 24-year-old marksman jumped at the chance of joining the club he supported as a boy - even though it meant that delaying his dream of playing in the First Division.

"I knew that a couple of clubs were interested in me at the end of the last season, but I decided to stay and try and get promotion with Gillingham," explained Cascarino, who cost the Kent club £1,000 and a set of shirts when they signed him from non-league Crockenhill.

"When we were beaten in the play-offs by Swindon I decided the time was right for a Move.

"I would have liked to have joined a First Division club, but there is no reason why I can't achieve my aim of playing there with Millwall."

Cascarino has built up a reputation as one of the Third Division's most prolific during his five seasons with Gillingham, and Millwall had to Ipswich before securing his signature.

"I scored 30 goals in all competitions for Gillingham last season and I am confident that I can carry on scoring in the Second Division," he said. One of Millwall's other new boys - confident that Millwall’s 102-year wait for First Division football could he nearly over.

"When I spoke to Millwall I was impressed with their ambition, and the caliber of the other signing they have made during the summer shows that they mean business," he said.

Wood chucked up the security of a five-year contract at Reading to join in Millwall's promotion push - and so far he has got no regrets despite being forced to miss the Lions opening two games through suspension.

"After meeting the rest of the lads and getting to know them during pre-season, I am more convinced than ever that we can do well."

Milllwall's big money signing have tended to overshadow the other Den new boy Wesley Reid - a free transfer signing from First Division Arsenal.

But Millwall manager John Docherty stressed: "Wesley has got a good future ahead of him. He is a local lad who we have decided to give a chance and I have been very impressed with him during pre-season."

 

 

New Boys Miss Out

By Rob Bowden

MILLWALL look certain to kick off their First Division promotion push without two of their summer signings, defender Steve Wood and midfielder Kevin O'Callaghan.

Wood, an £85,000 signing from Reading, is certain to miss tomorrow's testing away match against newly promoted Middlesbrough, because of a two-match suspension carried over from the end of last season.

And O'Callaghan is also doubtful after missing a large chunk of Millwall's pre-season training, first with a stomach strain and then with a hamstring injury.

"Kevin started training again on Tuesday but he has missed quite a tot of the pre-season work and we will have to see how things develop," explained manager John Docherty.

On a brighter note £220,000, striker Tony Cascarino is set to make his Millwall debut, and the 24-year-old marksman is sure that he can carry on where he left of last season. 

"I scored 30 goals for Gillingham last season, I am confident that I can score regularly in the Second as well," he said.

Cascarino will partner Teddy Sheringham upfront with Millwall's other new boy, £160,000 George Lawrence playing wide on the left.

If O'Callaghan doesn't make it Dave Mehmet, who, has come through Millwall's pre-season preparations well after an injury plagued 1986/87 campaign is expected to continue in midfield.

Mehmet got on the score sheet as Millwall forced a 2-2 draw with Doncaster in a friendly on Monday night. Cascarino got the other lions goal but manager Docherty was far from impressed with his side's performance.

"We looked a bit sluggish, and it took us a long time to ge

Middlesbrough, shut out of their ground and on the edge of bankruptcy just 12 months ago, will certainly provide a good test of Millwall's promotion potential.

Their Third Division promotion campaign surprised a lot of people including Boro manager Bruce Rioch, "Given the circumstances it was a great achievement by the players to win promotion at the first attempt," he said.

"It is possible that we have actually leaped a year ahead of what we planned, but I have got a good group of lads and dry know what is expected of them.

 

 

Who went where and for how much (£)
Ian Rush Liverpool to Juventus 3,200,000
Peter Beardsley Newcastle to Liverpool 1,900,000
Mirandinha Paimeeran to Newcastle 1,000,000
John Barnes Watford to Liverpool 900,000
Brian McClair Celtic to Man Utd 850,000
Glenn Hoddle Tottenham to Monaco 800,000
David Speedie Chelsea to Coventry 750,000
Mick McCarthy Man C to Celtic 500,000
Tony Dorigo Aston Villa to Chelsea 475,000
Nigel Winterburn Wimbledon to Arsenal 400,000
Chris Fairclough Forest to Tottenham 387,500
Trevor Senior Reading to Watford 325,000
Peter Nicholas Luton to Aberdeen 300,000
Glyn Hodges Wimbledon to Newcastle 300,000
Steve McCall Ipswich to Sheff Wed 300,000
Ian Baird Leeds to Portsmouth 285,000
Mark Falco Watford to Rangers 270,000
Viv Anderson Arsenal to Man Utd 250,000
Paul Parker Fulham to QPR 250,000
Johnny Metgod Forest to Tottenham 250,000
Alan Mcinally Celtic to Aston Villa 225,000
Tony Cascarino Gillingham to Millwall 200,000
Dean Coney Fulham to QPR 200,000
Steve Mackenzie WBA to Charlton 200,000
Sammy Lee QPR to Osasuna (Spain) 200,000
Terry Connor Brighton to Portsmouth 200,000
Mark Smith Sheff Wed to Plymouth 170,000
George Lawrence Soton to Millwall 160,000
Danny Wilson Brighton to Luton 150,000
David Pinanti FC Cologne to QPR 150,000
Gary Shelton Sheff Wed to Oxford 135,000
Richard Cadette Southend to Sheff Utd 130,000
Lee Sinnott Watford to Bradford 130,000
Kevin Moore Oldham to Soton 125,000
Chris Morris Sheff Wed to Celtic 125,000
Neil Woods Rangers to Ipswich 120,000
Kevin Gage Wimbledon to Aston Villa 110,000
Leroy Rosenoir OPR to Fulham 100,000
Mark Barham Norwich to Huddersfield 100,000
Gary Hackett Shrewsbury to Aberdeen 100,000
Terry Phelan Swansea to Wimbledon 100,000
Peter Shilton Soton to Derby 90,000
Mark Bowen Tottenham to Norwich 90,000
John O'Neill Leicester to QPR 90,000
Kevin O'Callaghan Portsmouth to Millwall 85,000
Steve Wood Reading to Millwall 80,000
Gary Nelson Plymouth to Brighton 80,000
Neil Redfearn Doncaster to Palace 80,000
Alex Chamberlain Colchester to Everton 80,000
Colin Gordon Wimbledon to Reading 80,000
Robbie James OPR to Leicester 75,000
Tony Adcock Colchester to Man C 75,000
John Scales Bristol Rovers to Wimbledon 70,000
Kevin Bremner Reading to Brighton 65,000
Graham Harbey Derby to Ipswich 65,000
Tony Kelly Stoke to WBA 60,000
Richard Jones Newport to Wimbledon 25,000
Mel Rees Cardiff City to Watford 60,000
Eric Young Brighton to Wimbledon 60,000
Alan Irvine C Palace to Dundee Utd 55,000
John Cornwall L Orient to Newcastle 50,000
Gooff Thomas Crewe to Palace 50,000
Clive Goodyear Plymouth to Wimbledon 50,000
Steve Sims Watford to Aston Villa 50,000
Doug Rougvie Chelsea to Brighton 50,000
Jim Stannard Southend to Fulham 50,000
Mark Robson Exeter to Tottenham 50,000
Gary West Lincoln to Gillingham 50,000
Peter Hetherston Falkirk to Watford 50,000
Paul Wilson Huddersfield to Norwich 50,000
Cliff Carr Fulham Stoke 45,000
Simon Ratcliffe Man Utd to Norwich 40,000
George Shipley Charlton to Gillingham 40,000
David Longhurst Halifax to Northampton 40,000
Mark Morris Wimbledon to Watford 37,500
Andy May Man C to Huddersfield 36,000
Keith Walwyn York City to Blackpool 35,000
Geoff Pike West Ham to Notts County 35,000
Tony Godden Chelsea to Birmingham 36,000
Gary Ford York City to Leicester 30,000
John Burridge Sheff Utd to Soton 30,000
Tony Caldwell Bolton to Bristol City 27,500
Mick Halsall Grimsby to Peterbrough 25,000
Laurie Pearson Bristol City to Port Vale £22,500+PX
Russ Bromage Port Vale to Bristol City PX
John MacPhail Bristol City to Sunderland 23,000
John Kay Wimbledon to Sunderland 22,500
Keith Day Colchester to L Orient 20,000
Francis Joseph Brentford to Reading 20,000
Mick Rathbone Blackburn to Preston 20,000
Colin Lee Chelsea to Brentford 17,500
Ian Knill Halifax to Swansea 15,000
Mario Walsh Torquay to Colchester 16,000
Paul Hart Birmingham to Notts County 15,000
Stave Ketteridge Palace to L Orient 15,000
Steve Senior York City to Northampton 14,000
Shaun Brooks L Orient to Bournemouth 10,000
Dean Wilkins Pec Zwolle to Brighton 10,000
Kevin Russell Portsmouth to Wrexham 5,000
Ernie Moss Stockport to Scarborough 4,000
Robbio Wakenshaw Rochdale to Crewe 2,000
Kevin Brock Oxford to QPR TBA
And the free transfers
Ian Allinson Arsenal to Stoke
Wesley Reid Arsenal to Millwall
Stuart Ritchie Aston Villa to Crewe
Gary Williams Aston Villa to Leeds
Dennis Mortimer Birmingham to Kettering
Noel Brotherston Blackburn to Bury
Phil Beater Brentford to Cardiff
Paul Maddy Brentford to Chester
Peter Hampton Burnley to Rochdale.
John Millar Chelsea to Blackburn
Keith Dublin Chelsea to Brighton
Phil Priest Chelsea to Shrewsbury
Sean Priddle Exeter to Brentford
Dean Roberts Exeter to Weymouth
Ian Bowyer Forest to Hereford
Gary Birtles Forest to Notts County
Andy Moore Grimsby to Lincoln
Kevin Wilson Ipswich to Chelsea
Paul Cooper Ipswich to Leicester
Andy Crane Ipswich to Shrewsbury
Peter Daniel Lincoln to Burnley
Nicky Reid Man C to Blackburn
Sammy McIlroy Man C to Bury
Graham Baker Man City to Soton
Frank Stapleton Man Utd to Ajax
Aiden Murphy Man Utd to Crewe
Mark Todd Man Utd to Sheff Utd
Neil Whatmore Mansfield to Bolton
Ronnie Coyle M'boro to Rochdale
Micky Nutton Millwall to Fisher
Tony Cunningham Newcastle to Blackpool
Ian Stewart Newcastle to Portsmouth
Joe Allon Newcastle to Swansea
Alan Davies Newcastle to Swansea
Linden Jones Newport to Reading
David Hunt Notts County to Aston Villa
Mike Fillery OPR to Portsmouth
Tommy Cunningham Orient to Fisher
Wakeley Gage Peterborough to Crewe
David Armstroug Soton to Bournemouth
Jon Gittens Soton to Swindon
Alan Kennedy Sunderland to Hartlepool
Warren Gravette Tottenham to Brentford
Steve Sherwood Watford to Grimsby
Paul Franklin Watford to Reading
Cilve Whitehead WBA to Portsmouth
John Lowey Wigan to Preston
Barry Horne Wrexham to Portsmouth

 

  The Millwall History Files    The Millwall Story since the early 1980's         [Home]  [Contents]  [Links]   [Search]